Dr. Wayne Stephens, DAOM, L.Ac, LMT

Acupuncturist / Licensed Massage Therapist

Some people seem to be born knowing what they are going to do. The rest of us, though, need to gain a little life experience so that we can figure out where we fit in the world. Such was the case for Dr. Wayne Stephens, the owner of The Wellness Tree.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Dr. Wayne is a lifelong athlete. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in an engineering program. It didn’t take too long for him to realize he didn’t really want to be an engineer. Instead, baseball seemed appealing.

At one point, Dr. Wayne’s father asked him to come to an acupuncture appointment with him. Dr. Wayne agreed and watched his father receive the treatment. That turned out to be the beginning of a journey that would lead Dr. Wayne to his life’s mission and to today.

Watching the Acupuncturist manipulate his father’s energies fascinated Dr. Wayne so much that he began to research acupuncture and the more he learned the more interested he became. When he learned that Five Branches Institute, now Five Branches University, a premier school in California, offered a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he decided to go.

Before leaving for school in California, Dr. Wayne took two important steps. He began to visit and observe Dr. Wong, one of the first acupuncturists in Chattanooga. Dr. Wong served as a sort of mentor to Dr. Wayne. He also decided to become a Licensed Massage Therapist so that he would become more familiar with the human body and more comfortable with treating people. Dr. Wayne specializes in Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massage, and has found that his patients benefit from his dual training in massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

During the time Dr. Wayne was observing Dr. Wong and working on his prerequisites to enter Five Branches, his dog, Cassie was in a car accident. The veterinarian was able to save her life, but she suffered some discomfort and disability thereafter. Dr. Wong saw Cassie and offered to treat her, using acupuncture. The treatment made a huge difference in Cassie’s ability to walk and in her comfort level, and Dr. Wayne felt that his decision to study Traditional Chinese Medicine had been confirmed.

As part of his studies, Dr. Wayne also attended Five Branches’ sister school in Hongzhou, China, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. His time in China gave Dr. Wayne the opportunity to see a wider range of conditions being treated successfully with Traditional Chinese Medicine, and even greater confidence in the methods he learned at Five Branches. Through study at both schools, he received a thorough training in diagnosing and treating disorders, illnesses and diseases during 3000 hours of comprehensive study.

Dr. Wayne Stephens graduated from Five Branches University’s Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program in 2017, Five Branches University’s Master’s Degree of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2005, and Alpha School of Massage in 1999.


Ashley McConnell


ashleyjpgAshley is an East Tennessee Native, Appalachian Folk Herbalist, wife and a mother to four sweet boys. The yoga teacher came first, Kelly Golden of Vira Bhava Yoga, taught Ashley from a Tantra Yoga view, but picking a path was difficult, so Ashley teaches from a Hatha point of view, but loves the deepness of many other paths. In many ways, yoga pushed Ashley in the path of herbalism. Phyllis D. Light is a native of Alabama who centers her teachings on the native plants and the traditional methods of Creek, Cherokee, and the Appalachian people. Ashley couldn’t have found a better herbalism teacher. While she appreciates all types of traditional medicine, Ashley really wanted to dive deeper into the tidbits of knowledge on how to heal using what you have and what surrounds you which by her great-grandmother when Ashley was a child.


Rick McIntyre, CN, BCHN

Nutritionist / Kinesiologist

Rick McIntyreRick is a 1996 graduate of the American Health Science University. In 2007, Rick passed the board exam to be a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist. Currently, Rick‘s transcripts are held at Huntington College in Knoxville, Tennessee.

He has been the store Nutritionist at Lori’s Natural Foods in Rochester, New York and a Wellness Educator at Natur-Tyme, a large health food store in Syracuse, New York. More recently, Rick owned his own private practice, Natural Solutions in Marcellus, New York. For 6 years, he consulted with clients on health issues such as diabetes, weight loss, depression, blood pressure, cholesterol, fibromyalgia and thyroid health.. Rick is a trained kinesiologist, using NRT and QRA protocols to analyze the week organs and gland of the body.

Rick‘s interest in natural health started in 1988, when he was diagnosed with a high blood pressure problem. He didn’t want to take medications, so he started studying natural health and cured his high blood pressure with diet and life style changes.

Rick moved to Chattanooga last July to be near his daughter and to restart his nutrition practice in a warmer climate. Rick says that “the body is always trying to heal itself, all we have to do is help it”.